Reduction or reorganisation of working time: the choice of the UEL
Unsurprisingly, UEL is in favour of a reorganisation of working time. In a context of labour shortage, a hard-fought exit from the health crisis, and international political and economic instability which complicates the already difficult recovery, a reduction in working hours, mentioned in the press by the Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy in February and March 2022, would be an additional blow to companies if it is not accompanied by a reduction in salary.
On the other hand, giving more freedom in the organisation of working time, currently fenced in by the Code du travail, would be beneficial. For example, the four-day week of 10 hours per day introduced under certain conditions in Belgium could be valuable for both the company and the employee. The most important thing is that decisions are taken at company level, according to the realities of the job in question and the company’s possibilities. It is in the interest of companies to keep competent employees and to be able to find solutions that suit them. Legislation should not hinder such solutions. UEL welcomes the Minister’s willingness to place these issues within the framework of social dialogue at national level, in the expectation that the problems of companies will be heard and taken into account in order to preserve and even develop their activities and the related jobs.